Academy Award for Best Actor

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Academy Award for Best Actor
Will Smith by Gage Skidmore.jpg
The 2021 recipient: Will Smith
Awarded forBest Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
First awarded 1929 (for performance in films released during the 1927/1928 film season)
Most recent winner Will Smith
King Richard (2022)
Most awards Daniel Day-Lewis (3)
Most nominations Laurence Olivier and Spencer Tracy (9)
Website oscars.org

The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role in a film released that year. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actress winner.

Contents

The 1st Academy Awards were held in 1929 with Emil Jannings receiving the award for his roles in The Last Command (1928) and The Way of All Flesh (1927). [1] Currently, nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Academy. [2]

In the first three years of the awards, actors were nominated as the best in their categories. At that time, all of their work during the qualifying period (as many as three films, in some cases) was listed after the award. [3] During the third ceremony in 1930, only one of those films was cited in each winner's final award, even though each of the acting winners had two films following their names on the ballots. [4] The following year, this system was replaced by the current system in which an actor is nominated for a specific performance in a single film. [3] Starting with the ninth ceremony in 1937, the category was officially limited to five nominations per year. [3]

Since its inception, the award has been given to 84 actors. Daniel Day-Lewis has won the award a record three times. Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier were nominated a record nine times. Peter O'Toole is the most nominated actor in this category without a single win. James Dean is the only actor posthumously nominated more than once. Peter Finch is the only posthumous winner, for Network (1976). Italian actor Roberto Benigni gave the first winning non-English performance in Life Is Beautiful (1997). At 29, Adrien Brody of The Pianist (2002) is the youngest winner, and Anthony Hopkins, 83, is the oldest, for playing Anthony in The Father (2020). [5] As of the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith is the most recent winner for King Richard .

Winners and nominees

In the following table, the years are listed as per Academy convention, and generally correspond to the year of film release in Los Angeles County; the ceremonies are always held the following year. [6] For the first five ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned twelve months, from August 1 to July 31. [7] For the 6th ceremony held in 1934, the eligibility period lasted from August 1, 1932, to December 31, 1933. [7] Since the 7th ceremony held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31. [7]

Table key
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngIndicates the winner
§Indicates winner who refused the award
Indicates a posthumous winner

1920s

Emil Jannings was the first winner of this category for his roles in The Last Command (1928) and The Way of All Flesh (1927). Emil Jannings - no watermark.jpg
Emil Jannings was the first winner of this category for his roles in The Last Command (1928) and The Way of All Flesh (1927).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1927/28
(1st)
Emil Jannings Double-dagger-14-plain.png [A] Grand Duke Sergius Alexander
August Schilling
The Last Command
The Way of All Flesh
[8]
Richard Barthelmess Nickie Elkins
Patent Leather Kid
The Noose
The Patent Leather Kid
1928/29
(2nd)
[note 1]
Warner Baxter Double-dagger-14-plain.png The Cisco Kid In Old Arizona [9]
George Bancroft Thunderbolt Jim Lang Thunderbolt
Chester Morris Chick Williams Alibi
Paul Muni James Dyke The Valiant
Lewis Stone Count Pahlen The Patriot

1930s

Charles Laughton won for The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). Charles Laughton-publicity2.JPG
Charles Laughton won for The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933).
Clark Gable won for his performance in It Happened One Night (1934). Gable, Clark 01.jpg
Clark Gable won for his performance in It Happened One Night (1934).
Paul Muni won for his portrayal of Louis Pasteur in The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936). Paul Muni - Zola - 1936.jpg
Paul Muni won for his portrayal of Louis Pasteur in The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936).
Spencer Tracy was the first of two actors to win this award over two consecutive years, winning for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938). Spencer Tracy.jpg
Spencer Tracy was the first of two actors to win this award over two consecutive years, winning for Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1929/30
(3rd)
George Arliss Double-dagger-14-plain.png [B] Benjamin Disraeli Disraeli [10]
George Arliss [B] The Raja The Green Goddess
Wallace Beery Butch "Machine Gun" Schmidt The Big House
Maurice Chevalier [B] Pierre Mirande
Count Alfred Renard
The Big Pond
The Love Parade
Ronald Colman [B] Capt. Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond
Michel
Bulldog Drummond
Condemned
Lawrence Tibbett Yegor The Rogue Song
1930/31
(4th)
Lionel Barrymore Double-dagger-14-plain.pngStephen Ashe A Free Soul [11]
Jackie Cooper Skippy Skinner Skippy
Richard Dix Yancey Cravat Cimarron
Fredric March Tony Cavendish The Royal Family of Broadway
Adolphe Menjou Walter Burns The Front Page
1931/32
(5th)
Wallace Beery Double-dagger-14-plain.png(TIE) [C] Andy "Champ" Purcell The Champ [12]
Fredric March Double-dagger-14-plain.png(TIE) [C] Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Alfred Lunt The Actor The Guardsman
1932/33
(6th)
Charles Laughton Double-dagger-14-plain.png King Henry VIII The Private Life of Henry VIII [13]
Leslie Howard Peter Standish Berkeley Square
Paul Muni James Allen I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
1934
(7th)
Clark Gable Double-dagger-14-plain.pngPeter Warne It Happened One Night [14]
Frank Morgan Alessandro, Duke of Florence The Affairs of Cellini
William Powell Nick Charles The Thin Man
1935
(8th)
Victor McLaglen Double-dagger-14-plain.pngGypo Nolan The Informer [15]
Clark Gable Lt. Fletcher Christian Mutiny on the Bounty
Charles Laughton Captain William Bligh
Franchot Tone Midshipman Roger Byam
1936
(9th)
Paul Muni Double-dagger-14-plain.png Louis Pasteur The Story of Louis Pasteur [16]
Gary Cooper Longfellow Deeds Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Walter Huston Sam Dodsworth Dodsworth
William Powell Godfrey Park My Man Godfrey
Spencer Tracy Father Tim Mullin San Francisco
1937
(10th)
Spencer Tracy Double-dagger-14-plain.pngManuel Fidello Captains Courageous [17]
Charles Boyer Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte Conquest
Fredric March Norman Maine A Star Is Born
Robert Montgomery Danny Night Must Fall
Paul Muni Émile Zola The Life of Emile Zola
1938
(11th)
Spencer Tracy Double-dagger-14-plain.png Father Flanagan Boys Town [18]
Charles Boyer Pepe le Moko Algiers
James Cagney Rocky Sullivan Angels with Dirty Faces
Robert Donat Dr. Andrew Manson The Citadel
Leslie Howard Professor Henry Higgins Pygmalion
1939
(12th)
Robert Donat Double-dagger-14-plain.pngCharles Edward Chipping Goodbye, Mr. Chips [19]
Clark Gable Rhett Butler Gone with the Wind
Laurence Olivier Heathcliff Wuthering Heights
Mickey Rooney Mickey Moran Babes in Arms
James Stewart Jefferson Smith Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1940s

James Stewart won for his performance in The Philadelphia Story (1940). Annex - Stewart, James (Call Northside 777) 01.jpg
James Stewart won for his performance in The Philadelphia Story (1940).
Gary Cooper won twice for his roles in Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952). Gary Cooper 1936.jpg
Gary Cooper won twice for his roles in Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952).
James Cagney won for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). James cagney promo photo.jpg
James Cagney won for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942).
Ronald Colman won for his performance in A Double Life (1947). Ronald Colman - publicity.jpg
Ronald Colman won for his performance in A Double Life (1947).
Laurence Olivier won for his performance as the title role in Hamlet (1948), a film which he directed himself. Laurence Olivier - Rebecca.jpg
Laurence Olivier won for his performance as the title role in Hamlet (1948), a film which he directed himself.
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1940
(13th)
James Stewart Double-dagger-14-plain.pngMacaulay "Mike" Connor The Philadelphia Story [21]
Charlie Chaplin Adenoid Hynkel and "The Barber" The Great Dictator
Henry Fonda Tom Joad The Grapes of Wrath
Raymond Massey Abraham Lincoln Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Laurence Olivier Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter Rebecca
1941
(14th)
Gary Cooper Double-dagger-14-plain.png Sgt. Alvin York Sergeant York [22]
Cary Grant Roger Adams Penny Serenade
Walter Huston Mr. Scratch The Devil and Daniel Webster
Robert Montgomery Joe Pendleton Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Orson Welles Charles Foster Kane Citizen Kane
1942
(15th)
James Cagney Double-dagger-14-plain.png George M. Cohan Yankee Doodle Dandy [23]
Ronald Colman Charles Rainier Random Harvest
Gary Cooper Lou Gehrig The Pride of the Yankees
Walter Pidgeon Clem Miniver Mrs. Miniver
Monty Woolley Howard The Pied Piper
1943
(16th)
Paul Lukas Double-dagger-14-plain.pngKurt Muller Watch on the Rhine [24]
Humphrey Bogart Rick Blaine Casablanca
Gary Cooper Robert Jordan For Whom the Bell Tolls
Walter Pidgeon Pierre Curie Madame Curie
Mickey Rooney Homer Macauley The Human Comedy
1944
(17th)
Bing Crosby Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFather Chuck O'Malley Going My Way [25]
Charles Boyer Gregory Anton Gaslight
Barry Fitzgerald Father Fitzgibbon Going My Way
Cary Grant Ernie Mott None but the Lonely Heart
Alexander Knox Woodrow Wilson Wilson
1945
(18th)
Ray Milland Double-dagger-14-plain.pngDon Birnam The Lost Weekend [26]
Bing Crosby Father Chuck O'Malley The Bells of St. Mary's
Gene Kelly Joseph Brady Anchors Aweigh
Gregory Peck Father Francis The Keys of the Kingdom
Cornel Wilde Frédéric Chopin A Song to Remember
1946
(19th)
Fredric March Double-dagger-14-plain.pngPlatoon Sergeant Al Stephenson The Best Years of Our Lives [27]
Laurence Olivier King Henry V of England Henry V
Larry Parks Al Jolson The Jolson Story
Gregory Peck Ezra "Penny" Baxter The Yearling
James Stewart George Bailey It's a Wonderful Life
1947
(20th)
Ronald Colman Double-dagger-14-plain.pngAnthony John A Double Life [28]
John Garfield Charlie Davis Body and Soul
Gregory Peck Philip Schuyler Green Gentleman's Agreement
William Powell Clarence Day, Sr. Life with Father
Michael Redgrave Orin Mannon Mourning Becomes Electra
1948
(21st)
Laurence Olivier Double-dagger-14-plain.png Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Hamlet [29]
Lew Ayres Dr. Robert Richardson Johnny Belinda
Montgomery Clift Ralph "Steve" Stevenson The Search
Dan Dailey "Skid" Johnson When My Baby Smiles at Me
Clifton Webb Lynn Aloysius Belvedere Sitting Pretty
1949
(22nd)
Broderick Crawford Double-dagger-14-plain.png Willie Stark All the King's Men [30]
Kirk Douglas Michael "Midge" Kelly Champion
Gregory Peck Brig. General Frank Savage Twelve O'Clock High
Richard Todd Cpl. Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan The Hasty Heart
John Wayne Sergeant John M. Stryker Sands of Iwo Jima

1950s

Humphrey Bogart won for his performance in The African Queen (1951). Humphrey Bogart 1940.jpg
Humphrey Bogart won for his performance in The African Queen (1951).
Marlon Brando won twice from seven nominations for On the Waterfront (1954) and The Godfather (1972). Marlon Brando in The Men.jpg
Marlon Brando won twice from seven nominations for On the Waterfront (1954) and The Godfather (1972).
Ernest Borgnine won for Marty in 1955. Ernest Borgnine McHale McHale's Navy 1962.JPG
Ernest Borgnine won for Marty in 1955.
Yul Brynner won for The King and I in 1956. Yul Brynner Anna and the King television 1972.JPG
Yul Brynner won for The King and I in 1956.
Alec Guinness won for The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957. Sir Alec Guinness 4 (2) Allan Warren.jpg
Alec Guinness won for The Bridge on the River Kwai in 1957.
Charlton Heston won for his performance in Ben-Hur (1959). Charlton Heston - 1953.jpg
Charlton Heston won for his performance in Ben-Hur (1959).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1950
(23rd)
José Ferrer Double-dagger-14-plain.png Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac [31]
Louis Calhern Oliver Wendell Holmes The Magnificent Yankee
William Holden Joe Gillis Sunset Boulevard
James Stewart Elwood P. Dowd Harvey
Spencer Tracy Stanley T. Banks Father of the Bride
1951
(24th)
Humphrey Bogart Double-dagger-14-plain.pngCharlie Allnut The African Queen [32]
Marlon Brando Stanley Kowalski A Streetcar Named Desire
Montgomery Clift George Eastman A Place in the Sun
Arthur Kennedy Larry Nevins Bright Victory
Fredric March Willy Loman Death of a Salesman
1952
(25th)
Gary Cooper Double-dagger-14-plain.png Marshal Will Kane High Noon [33]
Marlon Brando Emiliano Zapata Viva Zapata!
Kirk Douglas Jonathan Shields The Bad and the Beautiful
José Ferrer Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec Moulin Rouge
Alec Guinness Holland The Lavender Hill Mob
1953
(26th)
William Holden Double-dagger-14-plain.pngSgt. J.J. Sefton Stalag 17 [34]
Marlon Brando Mark Antony Julius Caesar
Richard Burton Marcellus Gallio The Robe
Montgomery Clift Pvt. Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt From Here to Eternity
Burt Lancaster 1st Sgt. Milton Warden
1954
(27th)
Marlon Brando Double-dagger-14-plain.pngTerry Malloy On the Waterfront [35]
Humphrey Bogart Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg The Caine Mutiny
Bing Crosby Frank Elgin The Country Girl
James Mason Norman Maine A Star Is Born
Dan O'Herlihy Robinson Crusoe Robinson Crusoe
1955
(28th)
Ernest Borgnine Double-dagger-14-plain.pngMarty Piletti Marty [36]
James Cagney Martin Snyder Love Me or Leave Me
James Dean (posthumous)Cal Trask East of Eden
Frank Sinatra Frankie Machine The Man with the Golden Arm
Spencer Tracy John J. Macreedy Bad Day at Black Rock
1956
(29th)
Yul Brynner Double-dagger-14-plain.png King Mongkut of Siam The King and I [37]
James Dean (posthumous)Jett Rink Giant
Kirk Douglas Vincent van Gogh Lust for Life
Rock Hudson Jordan "Bick" Benedict Jr. Giant
Laurence Olivier King Richard III of England Richard III
1957
(30th)
Alec Guinness Double-dagger-14-plain.pngLt. Colonel Nicholson The Bridge on the River Kwai [38]
Marlon Brando Major Lloyd "Ace" Gruver, USAF Sayonara
Anthony Franciosa Polo Pope A Hatful of Rain
Charles Laughton Sir Wilfrid Robarts Witness for the Prosecution
Anthony Quinn Gino Wild Is the Wind
1958
(31st)
David Niven Double-dagger-14-plain.pngMajor Angus Pollock Separate Tables [39]
Tony Curtis John "Joker" Jackson The Defiant Ones
Paul Newman Brick Pollitt Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sidney Poitier Noah Cullen The Defiant Ones
Spencer Tracy The Old Man The Old Man and the Sea
1959
(32nd)
Charlton Heston Double-dagger-14-plain.png Judah Ben-Hur Ben-Hur [40]
Laurence Harvey Joe Lampton Room at the Top
Jack Lemmon Jerry / Daphne Some Like It Hot
Paul Muni Dr. Sam Abelman The Last Angry Man
James Stewart Paul Biegler Anatomy of a Murder

1960s

Burt Lancaster won for his performance in Elmer Gantry (1960). Burt Lancaster - publicity 1947.JPG
Burt Lancaster won for his performance in Elmer Gantry (1960).
Maximilian Schell won for his performance in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Maximilian Schell - 1970-1.jpg
Maximilian Schell won for his performance in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).
Gregory Peck won for his performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Gregory Peck 1948.jpg
Gregory Peck won for his performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).
Sidney Poitier won for his performance in Lilies of the Field (1963), becoming the first black actor to win this category. Sidney Poitier 1968.jpg
Sidney Poitier won for his performance in Lilies of the Field (1963), becoming the first black actor to win this category.
Rex Harrison won for My Fair Lady (1964). Rex Harrison face.jpg
Rex Harrison won for My Fair Lady (1964).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1960
(33rd)
Burt Lancaster Double-dagger-14-plain.pngElmer Gantry Elmer Gantry [42]
Trevor Howard Walter Morel Sons and Lovers
Jack Lemmon C. C. "Bud" Baxter The Apartment
Laurence Olivier Archie Rice The Entertainer
Spencer Tracy Henry Drummond Inherit the Wind
1961
(34th)
Maximilian Schell Double-dagger-14-plain.pngHans Rolfe Judgment at Nuremberg [43]
Charles Boyer Cesar Fanny
Paul Newman Eddie Felson The Hustler
Spencer Tracy Chief Judge Dan Haywood Judgment at Nuremberg
Stuart Whitman Jim Fuller The Mark
1962
(35th)
Gregory Peck Double-dagger-14-plain.png Atticus Finch To Kill a Mockingbird [44]
Burt Lancaster Robert Stroud Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon Joe Clay Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni Ferdinando Cefalù Divorce Italian Style
Peter O'Toole T. E. Lawrence Lawrence of Arabia
1963
(36th)
Sidney Poitier Double-dagger-14-plain.pngHomer Smith Lilies of the Field [45]
Albert Finney Tom Jones Tom Jones
Richard Harris Frank Machin This Sporting Life
Rex Harrison Julius Caesar Cleopatra
Paul Newman Hud Bannon Hud
1964
(37th)
Rex Harrison Double-dagger-14-plain.pngProfessor Henry Higgins My Fair Lady [46]
Richard Burton Thomas Becket Becket
Peter O'Toole King Henry II of England
Anthony Quinn Alexis Zorba Zorba the Greek
Peter Sellers Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove
1965
(38th)
Lee Marvin Double-dagger-14-plain.pngKid Shelleen and Tim Strawn Cat Ballou [47]
Richard Burton Alec Leamas The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
Laurence Olivier Othello Othello
Rod Steiger Sol Nazerman The Pawnbroker
Oskar Werner Willie Schumann Ship of Fools
1966
(39th)
Paul Scofield Double-dagger-14-plain.png Sir Thomas More A Man for All Seasons [48]
Alan Arkin Lt. Rozanov The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming
Richard Burton George Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Michael Caine Alfie Elkins Alfie
Steve McQueen Jake Holman The Sand Pebbles
1967
(40th)
Rod Steiger Double-dagger-14-plain.pngPolice Chief Bill Gillespie In the Heat of the Night [49]
Warren Beatty Clyde Barrow Bonnie and Clyde
Dustin Hoffman Benjamin Braddock The Graduate
Paul Newman Lucas "Cool Hand Luke" Jackson Cool Hand Luke
Spencer Tracy (posthumous)Matt Drayton Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
1968
(41st)
Cliff Robertson Double-dagger-14-plain.pngCharly Gordon Charly [50]
Alan Arkin John Singer The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Alan Bates Yakov Bok The Fixer
Ron Moody Fagin Oliver!
Peter O'Toole King Henry II of England The Lion in Winter
1969
(42nd)
John Wayne Double-dagger-14-plain.png Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn True Grit [51]
Richard Burton King Henry VIII Anne of the Thousand Days
Dustin Hoffman Enrico Salvatore "Ratso" "Rico" Rizzo Midnight Cowboy
Peter O'Toole Arthur Chipping Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Jon Voight Joe Buck Midnight Cowboy

1970s

Gene Hackman won for The French Connection (1971) Gene Hackman - 1972.jpg
Gene Hackman won for The French Connection (1971)
Jack Lemmon won for Save the Tiger (1973). Jack Lemmon - 1968 (cropped).jpg
Jack Lemmon won for Save the Tiger (1973).
Jack Nicholson won twice for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and As Good as It Gets (1997). Jack Nicholson - 1976 (new).jpg
Jack Nicholson won twice for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and As Good as It Gets (1997).
Peter Finch won for his portrayal of Howard Beale in Network (1976), becoming the first and, to date, only actor to win this award posthumously. Peter Finch 2.jpg
Peter Finch won for his portrayal of Howard Beale in Network (1976), becoming the first and, to date, only actor to win this award posthumously.
Dustin Hoffman won for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988). Dustin Hoffman - 1968.jpg
Dustin Hoffman won for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1970
(43rd)
George C. Scott § [52] General George S. Patton Jr. Patton [53]
Melvyn Douglas Tom Garrison I Never Sang for My Father
James Earl Jones Jack Jefferson The Great White Hope
Jack Nicholson Robert Eroica Dupea Five Easy Pieces
Ryan O'Neal Oliver Barrett IV Love Story
1971
(44th)
Gene Hackman Double-dagger-14-plain.png Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle The French Connection [54]
Peter Finch Dr. Daniel Hirsh Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walter Matthau Joseph P. Kotcher Kotch
George C. Scott Dr. Herbert Bock The Hospital
Topol Tevye Fiddler on the Roof
1972
(45th)
Marlon Brando § [52] Vito Corleone The Godfather [55]
Michael Caine Milo Tindle Sleuth
Laurence Olivier Andrew Wyke
Peter O'Toole Jack Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney The Ruling Class
Paul Winfield Nathan Lee Morgan Sounder
1973
(46th)
Jack Lemmon Double-dagger-14-plain.pngHarry Stoner Save the Tiger [56]
Marlon Brando Paul Last Tango in Paris
Jack Nicholson Signalman First Class Billy L. "Badass" Buddusky The Last Detail
Al Pacino Frank Serpico Serpico
Robert Redford Johnny "Kelly" Hooker The Sting
1974
(47th)
Art Carney Double-dagger-14-plain.pngHarry Coombes Harry and Tonto [57]
Albert Finney Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express
Dustin Hoffman Lenny Bruce Lenny
Jack Nicholson J. J. "Jake" Gittes Chinatown
Al Pacino Michael Corleone The Godfather Part II
1975
(48th)
Jack Nicholson Double-dagger-14-plain.png Randle Patrick "Mac" McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest [58]
Walter Matthau Willy Clark The Sunshine Boys
Al Pacino Sonny Wortzik Dog Day Afternoon
Maximilian Schell Arthur Goldman The Man in the Glass Booth
James Whitmore Harry S. Truman Give 'em Hell, Harry!
1976
(49th)
Peter Finch Howard Beale Network [59]
Robert De Niro Travis Bickle Taxi Driver
Giancarlo Giannini Pasqualino Frafuso Seven Beauties
William Holden Max Schumacher Network
Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa Rocky
1977
(50th)
Richard Dreyfuss Double-dagger-14-plain.pngElliot Garfield The Goodbye Girl [60]
Woody Allen Alvy Singer Annie Hall
Richard Burton Martin Dysart Equus
Marcello Mastroianni Gabriele A Special Day
John Travolta Anthony "Tony" Manero Saturday Night Fever
1978
(51st)
Jon Voight Double-dagger-14-plain.pngLuke Martin Coming Home [61]
Warren Beatty Joe Pendleton Heaven Can Wait
Gary Busey Buddy Holly The Buddy Holly Story
Robert De Niro Michael Vronsky The Deer Hunter
Laurence Olivier Ezra Lieberman The Boys from Brazil
1979
(52nd)
Dustin Hoffman Double-dagger-14-plain.pngTed Kramer Kramer vs. Kramer [62]
Jack Lemmon Jack Godell The China Syndrome
Al Pacino Arthur Kirkland ...And Justice for All.
Roy Scheider Joe Gideon All That Jazz
Peter Sellers Chauncey Gardiner Being There

1980s

Robert De Niro won for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980). RobertdeNiro26 (cropped).JPG
Robert De Niro won for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980).
Henry Fonda won for On Golden Pond (1981). Henry Fonda, 1940.jpg
Henry Fonda won for On Golden Pond (1981).
Ben Kingsley won for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi (1982). Ben Kingsley by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Ben Kingsley won for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi (1982).
F. Murray Abraham won for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984); the first Arab to win the award. F Murray.Abraham cropped.jpg
F. Murray Abraham won for his portrayal of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1984); the first Arab to win the award.
Paul Newman won for The Color of Money (1986). Paul Newman 1954.JPG
Paul Newman won for The Color of Money (1986).
Daniel Day-Lewis won thrice, for My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Lincoln (2012). Daniel Day-Lewis2 Berlinale 2008 (2).jpg
Daniel Day-Lewis won thrice, for My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Lincoln (2012).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1980
(53rd)
Robert De Niro Double-dagger-14-plain.png Jake LaMotta Raging Bull [63]
Robert Duvall Lt. Col. Wilbur "Bull" Meechum The Great Santini
John Hurt John Merrick The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon Scottie Templeton Tribute
Peter O'Toole Eli Cross The Stunt Man
1981
(54th)
Henry Fonda Double-dagger-14-plain.pngNorman Thayer Jr. On Golden Pond [64]
Warren Beatty John Silas "Jack" Reed Reds
Burt Lancaster Lou Pascal Atlantic City
Dudley Moore Arthur Bach Arthur
Paul Newman Michael Colin Gallagher Absence of Malice
1982
(55th)
Ben Kingsley Double-dagger-14-plain.png Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi [65]
Dustin Hoffman Michael Dorsey / Dorothy Michaels Tootsie
Jack Lemmon Edmund Horman Missing
Paul Newman Frank Galvin The Verdict
Peter O'Toole Alan Swann My Favorite Year
1983
(56th)
Robert Duvall Double-dagger-14-plain.pngMac Sledge Tender Mercies [66]
Michael Caine Dr. Frank Bryant Educating Rita
Tom Conti Gowan McGland Reuben, Reuben
Tom Courtenay Norman The Dresser
Albert Finney Sir
1984
(57th)
F. Murray Abraham Double-dagger-14-plain.png Antonio Salieri Amadeus [67]
Jeff Bridges Starman Starman
Albert Finney Geoffrey Firmin Under the Volcano
Tom Hulce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Amadeus
Sam Waterston Sydney Schanberg The Killing Fields
1985
(58th)
William Hurt Double-dagger-14-plain.pngLuis Molina Kiss of the Spider Woman [68]
Harrison Ford Detective Captain John Book Witness
James Garner Murphy Jones Murphy's Romance
Jack Nicholson Charley Partanna Prizzi's Honor
Jon Voight Oscar "Manny" Manheim Runaway Train
1986
(59th)
Paul Newman Double-dagger-14-plain.pngFast Eddie Felson The Color of Money [69]
Dexter Gordon Dale Turner Round Midnight
Bob Hoskins George Mona Lisa
William Hurt James Leeds Children of a Lesser God
James Woods Richard Boyle Salvador
1987
(60th)
Michael Douglas Double-dagger-14-plain.png Gordon Gekko Wall Street [70]
William Hurt Tom Grunick Broadcast News
Marcello Mastroianni Romano Dark Eyes
Jack Nicholson Francis Phelan Ironweed
Robin Williams Adrian Cronauer Good Morning, Vietnam
1988
(61st)
Dustin Hoffman Double-dagger-14-plain.pngRaymond Babbitt Rain Man [71]
Gene Hackman Agent Rupert Anderson Mississippi Burning
Tom Hanks Josh Baskin Big
Edward James Olmos Jaime Escalante Stand and Deliver
Max von Sydow Lassefar Pelle the Conqueror
1989
(62nd)
Daniel Day-Lewis Double-dagger-14-plain.png Christy Brown My Left Foot [72]
Kenneth Branagh King Henry V of England Henry V
Tom Cruise Ron Kovic Born on the Fourth of July
Morgan Freeman Hoke Colburn Driving Miss Daisy
Robin Williams John Charles "Keats" Keating Dead Poets Society

1990s

Anthony Hopkins won for The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Father (2020), winning the latter at age 83, becoming the oldest Best Actor winner. Anthony Hopkins-Tuscan Sun Festival.jpg
Anthony Hopkins won for The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Father (2020), winning the latter at age 83, becoming the oldest Best Actor winner.
Al Pacino won for Scent of A Woman (1992). Al Pacino 2016 (30401544240).jpg
Al Pacino won for Scent of A Woman (1992).
Tom Hanks was the second of two actors to win this award over two consecutive years, winning for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). Tom Hanks 2014.jpg
Tom Hanks was the second of two actors to win this award over two consecutive years, winning for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994).
Nicolas Cage won for Leaving Las Vegas (1995). Nicolas Cage Comic-Con 2011.jpg
Nicolas Cage won for Leaving Las Vegas (1995).
Roberto Benigni won for Life is Beautiful (1997), the first for a foreign language performance. Roberto Benigni-5274.jpg
Roberto Benigni won for Life is Beautiful (1997), the first for a foreign language performance.
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
1990
(63rd)
Jeremy Irons Double-dagger-14-plain.png Claus von Bülow Reversal of Fortune [73]
Kevin Costner Lieutenant John J. Dunbar Dances with Wolves
Robert De Niro Leonard Lowe Awakenings
Gérard Depardieu Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac
Richard Harris "Bull" McCabe The Field
1991
(64th)
Anthony Hopkins Double-dagger-14-plain.png Dr. Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs [74]
Warren Beatty Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel Bugsy
Robert De Niro Maximilian "Max" Cady Cape Fear
Nick Nolte Tom Wingo The Prince of Tides
Robin Williams Henry "Parry" Sagan The Fisher King
1992
(65th)
Al Pacino Double-dagger-14-plain.pngLieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Scent of a Woman [75]
Robert Downey Jr. Charlie Chaplin Chaplin
Clint Eastwood William "Will" Munny Unforgiven
Stephen Rea Fergus The Crying Game
Denzel Washington Malcolm X Malcolm X
1993
(66th)
Tom Hanks Double-dagger-14-plain.pngAndrew "Andy" Beckett Philadelphia [76]
Daniel Day-Lewis Gerry Conlon In the Name of the Father
Laurence Fishburne Ike Turner What's Love Got to Do with It
Anthony Hopkins James Stevens The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson Oskar Schindler Schindler's List
1994
(67th)
Tom Hanks Double-dagger-14-plain.png Forrest Gump Forrest Gump [77]
Morgan Freeman Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding The Shawshank Redemption
Nigel Hawthorne King George III The Madness of King George
Paul Newman Donald "Sully" Sullivan Nobody's Fool
John Travolta Vincent Vega Pulp Fiction
1995
(68th)
Nicolas Cage Double-dagger-14-plain.pngBen Sanderson Leaving Las Vegas [78]
Richard Dreyfuss Glenn Holland Mr. Holland's Opus
Anthony Hopkins Richard Nixon Nixon
Sean Penn Matthew Poncelet Dead Man Walking
Massimo Troisi (posthumous)Mario Ruoppolo Il Postino: The Postman
1996
(69th)
Geoffrey Rush Double-dagger-14-plain.png David Helfgott Shine [79]
Tom Cruise Jerry Maguire Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes Count László de Almásy The English Patient
Woody Harrelson Larry Flynt The People vs. Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton Karl Childers Sling Blade
1997
(70th)
Jack Nicholson Double-dagger-14-plain.pngMelvin Udall As Good as It Gets [80]
Matt Damon Will Hunting Good Will Hunting
Robert Duvall Euliss "Sonny" Dewey The Apostle
Peter Fonda Ulysses "Ulee" Jackson Ulee's Gold
Dustin Hoffman Stanley Motss Wag the Dog
1998
(71st)
Roberto Benigni Double-dagger-14-plain.pngGuido Orefice Life Is Beautiful [81]
Tom Hanks Captain John H. Miller Saving Private Ryan
Ian McKellen James Whale Gods and Monsters
Nick Nolte Wade Whitehouse Affliction
Edward Norton Derek Vinyard American History X
1999
(72nd)
Kevin Spacey Double-dagger-14-plain.pngLester Burnham American Beauty [82]
Russell Crowe Jeffrey Wigand The Insider
Richard Farnsworth Alvin Straight The Straight Story
Sean Penn Emmet Ray Sweet and Lowdown
Denzel Washington Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter The Hurricane

2000s

Denzel Washington won for Training Day (2001). Denzel Washington cropped 02.jpg
Denzel Washington won for Training Day (2001).
Adrien Brody won for The Pianist (2002) at age 29, becoming the youngest Best Actor winner. Adrien Brody 2011 Shankbone (2).jpg
Adrien Brody won for The Pianist (2002) at age 29, becoming the youngest Best Actor winner.
Sean Penn won twice for Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008). Sean Penn by Sachyn Mital (cropped).jpg
Sean Penn won twice for Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008).
Philip Seymour Hoffman won for Capote (2005). Philip Seymour Hoffman 2011.jpg
Philip Seymour Hoffman won for Capote (2005).
Forest Whitaker won for The Last King of Scotland (2006). Forest Whitaker 2014.jpg
Forest Whitaker won for The Last King of Scotland (2006).
Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart (2009). Jeff Bridges by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart (2009).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
2000
(73rd)
Russell Crowe Double-dagger-14-plain.pngMaximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator [83]
Javier Bardem Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls
Tom Hanks Chuck Noland Cast Away
Ed Harris Jackson Pollock Pollock
Geoffrey Rush Marquis de Sade Quills
2001
(74th)
Denzel Washington Double-dagger-14-plain.pngDet. Sgt. Alonzo Harris Training Day [84]
Russell Crowe John Forbes Nash Jr. A Beautiful Mind
Sean Penn Sam Dawson I Am Sam
Will Smith Muhammad Ali Ali
Tom Wilkinson Dr. Matt Fowler In the Bedroom
2002
(75th)
Adrien Brody Double-dagger-14-plain.png Władysław Szpilman The Pianist [85]
Nicolas Cage Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman Adaptation
Michael Caine Thomas Fowler The Quiet American
Daniel Day-Lewis William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting Gangs of New York
Jack Nicholson Warren R. Schmidt About Schmidt
2003
(76th)
Sean Penn Double-dagger-14-plain.pngJimmy Markum Mystic River [86]
Johnny Depp Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law W. P. Inman Cold Mountain
Bill Murray Bob Harris Lost in Translation
2004
(77th)
Jamie Foxx Double-dagger-14-plain.png Ray Charles Ray [87]
Don Cheadle Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp J. M. Barrie Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio Howard Hughes The Aviator
Clint Eastwood Frankie Dunn Million Dollar Baby
2005
(78th)
Philip Seymour Hoffman Double-dagger-14-plain.png Truman Capote Capote [88]
Terrence Howard Djay Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger Ennis Del Mar Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix Johnny Cash Walk the Line
David Strathairn Edward R. Murrow Good Night, and Good Luck
2006
(79th)
Forest Whitaker Double-dagger-14-plain.png Idi Amin The Last King of Scotland [89]
Leonardo DiCaprio Danny Archer Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling Dan Dunne Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole Maurice Russell Venus
Will Smith Chris Gardner The Pursuit of Happyness
2007
(80th)
Daniel Day-Lewis Double-dagger-14-plain.pngDaniel Plainview There Will Be Blood [90]
George Clooney Michael Clayton Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp Sweeney Todd / Benjamin Barker Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones Hank Deerfield In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen Nikolai Luzhin Eastern Promises
2008
(81st)
Sean Penn Double-dagger-14-plain.png Harvey Milk Milk [91]
Richard Jenkins Walter Vale The Visitor
Frank Langella Richard Nixon Frost/Nixon
Brad Pitt Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke Randy "The Ram" Robinson The Wrestler
2009
(82nd)
Jeff Bridges Double-dagger-14-plain.pngOtis "Bad" Blake Crazy Heart [92]
George Clooney Ryan Bingham Up in the Air
Colin Firth George Falconer A Single Man
Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela Invictus
Jeremy Renner SFC William James The Hurt Locker

2010s

Colin Firth won for The King's Speech (2010). Colin Firth SDCC 2014.jpg
Colin Firth won for The King's Speech (2010).
Jean Dujardin became the first French actor to win for The Artist (2011). Jean Dujardin Cannes 2011.jpg
Jean Dujardin became the first French actor to win for The Artist (2011).
Matthew McConaughey won for Dallas Buyers Club (2013). Matthew McConaughey - Goldene Kamera 2014 - Berlin.jpg
Matthew McConaughey won for Dallas Buyers Club (2013).
Leonardo DiCaprio won for The Revenant (2015). Leonardo DiCaprio visited Goddard Saturday to discuss Earth science with Piers Sellers (26105091624) cropped.jpg
Leonardo DiCaprio won for The Revenant (2015).
Rami Malek won for Bohemian Rhapsody (2018); the first Egyptian to win the award. Rami Malek in 2015 (portrait crop).jpg
Rami Malek won for Bohemian Rhapsody (2018); the first Egyptian to win the award.
Joaquin Phoenix won for Joker (2019). Joaquin Phoenix-2196 (cropped).jpg
Joaquin Phoenix won for Joker (2019).
YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
2010
(83rd)
Colin Firth Double-dagger-14-plain.png King George VI The King's Speech [93]
Javier Bardem Uxbal Biutiful
Jeff Bridges Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg Mark Zuckerberg The Social Network
James Franco Aron Ralston 127 Hours
2011
(84th)
Jean Dujardin Double-dagger-14-plain.pngGeorge Valentin The Artist [94]
Demián Bichir Carlos Galindo A Better Life
George Clooney Matthew King The Descendants
Gary Oldman George Smiley Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt Billy Beane Moneyball
2012
(85th)
Daniel Day-Lewis Double-dagger-14-plain.png Abraham Lincoln Lincoln [95]
Bradley Cooper Patrizio "Pat" Solitano, Jr. Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman Jean Valjean Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix Freddie Quell The Master
Denzel Washington William "Whip" Whitaker, Sr. Flight
2013
(86th)
Matthew McConaughey Double-dagger-14-plain.png Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club [96]
Christian Bale Irving Rosenfeld American Hustle
Bruce Dern Woodrow "Woody" Grant Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio Jordan Belfort The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor Solomon Northup 12 Years a Slave
2014
(87th)
Eddie Redmayne Double-dagger-14-plain.png Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything [97]
Steve Carell John du Pont Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper Chris Kyle American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch Alan Turing The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton Riggan Thomson Birdman
2015
(88th)
Leonardo DiCaprio Double-dagger-14-plain.png Hugh Glass The Revenant [98]
Bryan Cranston Dalton Trumbo Trumbo
Matt Damon Mark Watney The Martian
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne Lili Elbe The Danish Girl
2016
(89th)
Casey Affleck Double-dagger-14-plain.pngLee Chandler Manchester by the Sea [99]
Andrew Garfield Desmond Doss Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling Sebastian Wilder La La Land
Viggo Mortensen Ben Cash Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington Troy Maxson Fences
2017
(90th)
Gary Oldman Double-dagger-14-plain.png Winston Churchill Darkest Hour [100]
Timothée Chalamet Elio Perlman Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis Reynolds Woodcock Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya Chris Washington Get Out
Denzel Washington Roman J. Israel Roman J. Israel, Esq.
2018
(91st)
Rami Malek Double-dagger-14-plain.png Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody [101]
Christian Bale Dick Cheney Vice
Bradley Cooper Jackson Maine A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe Vincent van Gogh At Eternity's Gate
Viggo Mortensen Tony "Lip" Vallelonga Green Book
2019
(92nd)
Joaquin Phoenix Double-dagger-14-plain.png Arthur Fleck / Joker Joker [102]
Antonio Banderas Salvador Mallo Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio Rick Dalton Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver Charlie Barber Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio The Two Popes

2020s

YearActorRole(s)FilmRef.
2020/21
[103]
(93rd)
Anthony Hopkins Double-dagger-14-plain.pngAnthony The Father [104]
Riz Ahmed Ruben Stone Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman (posthumous)Levee Green Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Gary Oldman Herman J. Mankiewicz Mank
Steven Yeun Jacob Yi Minari
2021
(94th)
Will Smith Double-dagger-14-plain.png Richard Williams King Richard [105]
Javier Bardem Desi Arnaz Being the Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch Phil Burbank The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield Jonathan Larson Tick, Tick... Boom!
Denzel Washington Lord Macbeth The Tragedy of Macbeth

Multiple awards and nominations

Age superlatives

RecordActorFilmYearAgeRef.
Oldest Winner Anthony Hopkins The Father 202083 [106]
Oldest Nominee [106]
Youngest Winner Adrien Brody The Pianist 200229 [106]
Youngest Nominee Jackie Cooper Skippy 19319 [106]

See also

Notes

A ^ : According to longstanding Hollywood legend, [107] reported by Susan Orlean, [108] Rin Tin Tin actually received the most Best Actor votes, but the Academy (not wishing to give the first award to a dog) refactored the votes to ensure that Jannings won. [109]
B 1 2 3 : Rules at the time of the first three ceremonies allowed for a performer to receive a single nomination which could honor their work in more than one film. George Arliss, Maurice Chevalier, and Ronald Colman were all nominated for two different roles in the same category. Current Academy rules forbid this from happening. No official reason was ever given as to why Arliss won the award for only one of the two films he was listed for. [110]
C 1 2 : Fredric March received one more vote than Wallace Beery. Academy rules at that time considered such a close margin to be a tie, so both March and Beery received the award. Under current Academy rules, dual awards are given only for exact ties. [111]
  1. The 2nd Academy Awards is unique in being the only occasion where there were no official nominees. Subsequent research by AMPAS has resulted in a list of unofficial or de facto nominees, based on records of which films were evaluated by the judges.

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